We at the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights have watched, with concern and sorrow, the horrific violent events of the past week. Our hearts and sympathies go out to the victims of the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, who had gathered on Saturday morning to celebrate their Sabbath together in peace. We grieve for their loss and for the pain experienced by the community of Squirrel Hill. We mourn the senseless racially-motivated killings in Louisville and elsewhere. We are alarmed by pipe bombs mailed to civic leaders, apparently aimed at silencing opposing views.
Our country and its laws stand for free speech, respectful civic engagement, and value for the basic human dignity of all people. These basic rights, expressed in our Constitution and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights so prominently displayed in our Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, should be protected for people of every race, faith, sexual orientation, and background.
We can strive to build a better and safer world by educating hearts and minds, exchanging ideas, and working tirelessly to respect and celebrate our differences. By educating students from our city, state, and beyond, about respecting others’ basic rights, we can help them to stand up to bigotry. We must promote civic responsibility in individuals and communities and inspire others to stand up against injustice and hate. By helping teachers and students of all ages understand the need for empathy, dignity, and compassion, we can reduce, and some day end, the senseless violence.
We fully support the unifying messages from Mayor Bieter and our local leaders. Let’s now remind each other to always be upstanders, and to advocate together for human rights and basic human dignity for everyone.
Welcome progress has been made since the late Bill Wassmuth first stood up to bigotry and hatred in northern Idaho. But the need for human rights education grows with every new generation of Idaho children. Today’s headlines only remind us there’s much more to be done.
Do you know what I love best about the Wassmuth Center (besides the people involved of course)? The Wassmuth Center comes up with specific ways to change our world and impact lives, and then actually puts them into practice. It's similar in a way to the many people who say they want to write a novel, but only a few ever write one. Most people do want to change the world. We just need more individuals to actually go out to do the work. The Wassmuth Center transforms ideas into action. Thank you for all the work you do.
Thank you again so much for spending the morning with us at Boise High and for all the work you are doing to make an actionable difference in our community. You are an inspiration to me to be more self aware, work harder, and commit to more action.``
During the early 1970s to the mid-1990s, white supremacists—under the umbrella of the Aryan Nation and Reverend Richard Butler, Minister of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian—sought to create an all-white homeland in north Idaho. Untold numbers of white nationalists, Holocaust deniers, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and far-right Christians gravitated from all over the US to Hayden Lake, Coeur d’Alene, and eastern Washington.
If you are interested in this e-book, you can order today from Amazon. The Wassmuth Center receives a portion of the sales.
Travel with the Wassmuth Center and witness the impact of our International Outreach Programs.
March 15-24, 2019: “Pedals and Packs” distributes bicycles and backpacks to village school children in Cambodia. Limited to 18 participants, $2,900 all-inclusive, based on double occupancy, including international airfare to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
May 26 – June 3, 2019: “Each One, Teach One” supports a cadre of high potential, low opportunity young women living in the Gorongosa National Park (Mozambique) border villages in their transition and completion of secondary school. Limited to 18 participants, $4,045 all-inclusive, based on double occupancy, from departure in Johannesburg, South Africa to Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique and return to Johannesburg (international airfare to South Africa not included).
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